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Everything posted by pook

  1. Then surely to think otherwise implies that our development is planned and intentional, which it's plainly not. If a massive asteroid hadn't hit what is now Mexico around 60 million years ago, then we'd almost certainly not have developed as we are today. That was sheer chance, and pretty long odds too. A similar even could make us extinct just as fast at any time. Sheer luck. I'm not saying there's no life. I am, like many others, convinced of that because of what you say - the sheer numbers of star systems just in our galaxy alone. I'm talking about advanced, intelligent civilisations capable of contacting us: Of that I'm not convinced. It takes time for a species to develop even as far as we have, and I think we've just been dealt some very lucky hands with regards to environmental conditions and predation that would otherwise have kept us struggling for survival along with every other species instead of developing to the extent to which controlling our environment became possible. I'm not suggesting we're "special" in the way you think I am... as in different, or blessed in some way. I do think we're very rare though. Others have said things like "Maybe they don't use radio waves" etc. Well.. maybe not. Who can say. Considering we accept that physics is universal, then it's pretty likely that another intelligent civilisation would have stumbled across understanding the electro-magnetic spectrum also. Even if they have surpassed that and harnessed some other long distance communication technology using something else.... I dunno... modulated neutrino transmissions.. (shrug)... then there's still a strong argument that if you wanted to communicate to others, you'd pick the simplest, oldest, and what is most likely to be the most widespread methods. Any way.... we're now at the point where we can think about analysing the atmospheres of exo planets, and that may shed some light on things.
  2. I think there were just too many accidental co-incidents that led to our development. To imagine the same level of sheer luck happening wholesale across the universe is stretching it a bit in my mind. I'm with Ward on this one. I HOPE I'm wrong... but the logical nature in me just keeps adding up the odds of all the accidental events that made us possible... and some of the chances are, forgive the pun, astronomical. I'd LOVE to be convinced otherwise though.
  3. I'm sure there's life elsewhere, but not intelligent life. I find it highly unlikely there are other civilisations also looking at their skies and wondering the same things. The chances are too small, and the barriers needed to be overcome too steep. In all probability, although I wish otherwise, I think we're probably alone as the only advanced civilisation.
  4. Yep.. that was great! I love Adam Hart-Davies. I'm planning a photo-documentary though, and book/exhibition.. more of a monograph than a video based documentary. Thanks for reminding me about this though. I'm going to watch these again!
  5. Morning all! Not posted in her for ages, mainly because astronomy often takes a back seat to my other obsession and career, which is photography. I'm still around, and I still browse the forums, and I still have my 6" Newt... and I even get to use it occasionally! However, I'm looking for astronomers who might be able to help me create a documentary project on amateur astronomy/astronomers, especially if you have a home observatory. Why am I doing this? Because so far as I know, no one has yet, and as we all know, it's a fascinating subject with broad appeal, yet somehow still seems to be put into one of those slightly marginalised categories... you know... "bloke in a shed" syndrome. Astronomy only really gets the limelight when Brian Cox gets involved. Not that that's a bad thing, nor is that a complaint about Brian of course, which is a great inspiration to many, but I’d like to tell the astronomer’s story a little more. So I need help. I need to strike up some working relationships with astronomers who would be willing to work with me. The documentary images will be portrait based, but not exclusively so, but this is anthropological work I am embarking upon here, and it's most definitely about the people involved. This is NOT commercial work, but will be most likely viewed as an art based project and there is a possibility of gallery exhibition and a book published, but as this is purely speculative I’ve no clear idea how the work will eventually be disseminated, nor at this stage do I know exactly how the project will end up looking. One thing I can assure you all of though, is that this is definitely for the good of astronomy and not some cynical attempt to further marginalise those with hobbies and interests that are not mainstream – the opposite is true. I wish to celebrate it. It will be different from what I usually do though, which is more fine art/conceptually driven work. However, astronomy has always reared its head in my work. Here’s some stuff from the last project I embarked upon where astronomy and photography met head on. --------------------- Going Home: We are all made of stars. The iron in our blood, the carbon in our cells, and the calcium in our bones: All these elements were forged inside dying stars as heavier and heavier elements are fused together when stars lose their battle against gravity. When the star finally expires in nature’s most spectacular firework show - the supernova, these elements are spread throughout the universe to create life elsewhere. This is where we came from. Our own sun awaits this fate too, and its death will fuel life elsewhere. The cycle repeats until entropy has used the entire universe's energy. We are all made of stars. This series of images is a whimsical look at our species' long fascination with the heavens, and Man's desire to reach the stars... to go back to our beginnings... to go home. ---------------------- The project I'm planning however, is definitely more documentary in nature. I would ideally like to work with people on a longer term basis rather than just roll up, take some shots, and disappear. I'd like to develop the work more than that in order to tell the full story. I’m North West based, but will travel for those willing to get involved. If anyone likes the sound of getting involved, please PM me via these forums, or even just reply to this thread. Thanks for reading. David Gregory [edit] I hope this call for assistance is not in breach of any forum rules, but this is not a commercial venture.
  6. I did. I'm sure if they come on here to advertise though, they'll get removed as Spam, surely? I thought I'd do it on their behalf, as at least I've been on here a while and am clearly not just here to advertise their business.
  7. I'm not entirely sure on the rules of doing this, so if this is inappropriate, please edit, or move, or even delete as needed. I recently went to Galloway forest to observe and do some deep sky photography, and I foudn a great place. Barrhill in South Ayrshire. The skies based on my own light readings are darker than Kielder, and there are so many spots you can just set up a scope on the forest tracks that you don't even have to try looking. The main reason I'm posting though is that I found a fabulous B&B that is very astronomy friendly. It's a working farm, so people are always up and around at all hours, and they really don't care what time you come and go. It's run by a lovely couple who are genuinely interested in making your stay as good as possible. The place has WiFi and Sky TV should you be clouded out one night, and the immediate area has lots to do during the day within a 45 minute drive. As finding great places to stay that are astronomy friendly is sometimes difficult, I feel this is just letting people know of a great site. I am not affiliated with, or have any connection with the B&B... I just thought it was fabulous, and I think more people shoudl know anout it. Within a 10 minute drive north of the B&B are forest roads and tracks that are on high ground, offer clearl horizon views to all compass points, and more importantly, almost zero light pollution. The nearest town is Newton Stewart which is 16 miles away, and too small to offer any light pollution. There is zero sky glow even on teh horizon in all directions. More details here..... http://www.blairfarmbandb.co.uk/
  8. I've not used my scope now for a few months. With the skies being so light until so late I've just not been able to stay up long enough due to work etc. What do others here who can't stay up all night do to maintain interest during the summer months?
  9. If I load it up in PS and stretch it more there is some JPEG artifacting around the stars that gives a darker ring around them but it's very very faint as posted.
  10. Don't be fooled into thinking that a processor with 4 cores and run 4 programs independently of one another. Each application will try to use all cores if it multi-threaded unless you manually set the core affinity. The more powerful the CPU the better. In all honesty, only processing software such as Pixinsight, Photoshop DSS etc will need the grunt. Out in teh field running EQMOD or other tracking software, pretty much any multi-core processor will be fine. More RAM the better. Loads of HDD space for captures. Sorted
  11. I bet Brian Cox wouldn't be able to star hop and navigate visually either. Whoever has made you feel like this is a moron. Aid? Crutch? They are TOOLS. If your purist friend wants to spend ages waving the end of his scope around trying to find stuff then leave him/her to it. Use Stellarium. You;ll learn where stuff is by default anyway, just as you learn your way around a new town. You'll rely on it less and less as time goes by. Tell your purist friend to stop being such a snob.
  12. I think I'll still round off and reduce the clips as well... and possible baffle the outside couple of mm of mirror.
  13. You shouldn't be compensating for room lighting. Accurate is accurate.. it's an absolute. The only thing that should be set according to room lighting is luminance. I'm wondering how you measured it then. You used a chart of known accuracy, but didn't evaluate by eye.. so how? With another colorimeter? If so, which one? I've used the Huey, and I found it quite poor. It's also incapable of calibrating a wide gamut panel, and this is important these days, as wide gamut IPS panels are becoming common place (even though 99% of people are viewing un-managed standard gamut content and therefore inaccurate colours).
  14. Ahh.. a subject close to my heart, and a professional necessity for me. I have two systems. 1. LaCie Blue Eye Pro (the best sub £300), and 2. A Monaco Optix (now Xrite) DTP94. Both are good with standard gamut monitors, but the Monaco fails to calibrate my Eizo wide gamut panel whereas the Blue Eye Pro manages to profile the 102% Adobe RGB98 screen. The spyder 3 is a great budget alternative and is wide gamut compatible. Stay away from the Huey. You get what you pay for, and you don't pay much for the huey. I once calibrated a screen with that and the best it managed was a delta E of 6.8. The same screen with the Monaco Optix delivered a delta E of 0.9. I have a great deal of practical professional experience with managing colour workflow. If you need advice, drop me a PM. You can go crazy with this subject, but as most people don't actually understand colour workflow, they just want a plug in, press a button solution, so don't consider stocking anything too expensive as it will just sit on a shelf. Spyder 3 is a great budget system that would be worth stocking, especially as wide gamut IPS panels are getting cheaper these days. The 6K mentioned in an earlier post will be to mange a complete workflow from capture to print, and is specialist gear 99% of people will never use. There's no need to spend more than £300 calibrating a screen, no matter what you do for a living. No offence... but have you measured the accuracy in any way? Visually, you'll get used to anything, and it will appear correct. You can't visually assess colour accuracy of a screen unless you have a measured benchmark to judge it against, and even then it's not easy. ..yeah.. Spyder 3. Stock that. great value, works well on standard and high gamut panels. You'll have no comeback from selling those.
  15. The Meade looks better to me. Sharper with greater edge contrast.
  16. Seeing was good last night.... ...but I had my SPC900 set to 320 instead of 640.. DOH!
  17. I've given up jetwashing the patio. It looks just as bad again within weeks.
  18. As Twotter said, it will be the 2" adapter for a 2" eyepiece. This has nothing to do with imaging with a DSLR. In fact, if you use it you'll not get focus. You need to unscrew the end from the 1.25" adapter to leave the thread only.. then screw on a T adapter for your Nikon (Not supplied with the scope). The 2" adapter is for viewing with a 2" EP only.
  19. Nope. Never thought of that.. thanks
  20. Nope. Physically it's identical. My money is on a bad mirror in some way or another.
  21. Someone needs to sort that out, or remove them, as they're utterly useless without the images.
  22. Is it me or do all the stickys have no images in them?
  23. New scope. That's better. Just some patterning from the draw tube being so far inside the OTA for prime focus. This appears to look very much like Mike's now. Here's the old one on the same star. Big improvement.
  24. Not really. That's where I got the picture from. It just says use the stopper ring on a newt, but not on a Dob. LOL. I could put my scope on a Dob mount, and it would be a Dob... back on my EQ and it's a newt. I fail to see the difference.
  25. For photo use, you only use the MPCC itself, not the spacers. Just fit your T adapter to the threaded end of the MPCC and then attach to your camera and then insert the other end in your 2" draw tube (remove the 1.25" adapter) The other spacer attachments are for visual use with various baader eyepieces. Which one depends on which EP you use. The instructions give settings for baader EPs, but if you use others you need to measure from the field stop of the EP to the marking on the MPCC. http://www.baader-planetarium.com/pdf/mpcc_e.pdf That PDF gives diagrams. I don't actually use it for viewing however... just for imaging.
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